Poll – Thoughts on Deathly Hallows

I had a lot of fun with my last poll (Scent of the Potions Master) and thought that I would do another one.

The fic I am currently reading was written in the Half-Blood Prince era and the author remarks that she hated Deathly Hallows and was even more determined to finish her fic excellently as a result. I wonder how those of us in the Snape/Hermione ship felt about Deathly Hallows?

I know for me, I was already heavily involved in fanfiction and in the ship before Deathly Hallows came out, and as a result the final book hasn’t really solidified in my head as canon. It felt like just another version or interpretation of the end. I was greatly relieved and vindicated that my ‘crazy’ theory about Snape and Lily turned out to be correct.

Here is the poll! You can select multiple answers.
http://www.strawpoll.me/14217191

My thoughts, now that you’ve hopefully taken the poll – at the time I was more or less happy, but now that I’ve had more time to reflect on it, I feel disappointed. I felt like it needed to be severely edited down. They had tons of Horcruxes to hunt down, and JK decided to complicate it with adding Hallows and wands and Dumbledore’s backstory and Peverells and what? That is way too much stuff to cram into one book. Why waste the entire second book on one Horcrux and then cram 5 Horcruxes and 3 Hallows into the final one? It makes no sense, pacing wise. She should have included some of the content in earlier books or written more books. Because she did not, Deathly Hallows felt messy and bloated. I will refrain from complaining about Ron and Hermione because JK has since admitted that it was a mistake. (I seriously believe with the content of Cursed Child that she has recognized the viability of Snape + Hermione, even if she hasn’t said it publicly.) My biggest complaint, though, is the Voldemort defeating mechanism. I would argue that MOST fanfics are able to come up with something more clever than “I disarmed Draco and Draco disarmed the Headmaster so the Elder wand which was just invented in this book responds to me, so I win.” Accidental, convuluted, and underwhelming. My favorite Voldemort defeating mechanism (so far!) is the mother’s magic lulluby from The Lioness Prophecies, so I will head-canon that. 🙂

I am also, selfishly, disappointed that Deathly Hallows revealed Snape’s awesomeness to the rest of the world, because he gained a bunch of new fans who only like him because of his love for Lily. I have to admit I sneer at the ‘Always’ and doe merchandise. He would hate that, wouldn’t he? Many of us loved him when he was just the dour Potions Master, because we could see that there was something going on underneath (why would he hate them so much yet protect them so fiercely?), because we admired his intelligence, because we thought his sardonic remarks were funny. We loved and believed in him without proof. I struggle to accept those who needed proof. Again, it’s my own selfishness and arrogance. I’m glad (for him) that his true alliance was revealed in such a beautiful way.

Some of my readers have pointed out that they read the books straight through because they are a bit younger, and because of that never had a chance to ‘believe in’ Snape before they uncovered truth. This is an excellent point! Thank you for making me aware of it and putting up with my curmudgeon ways.

Thank you for indulging my Ravenclaw curiousity! Please write your thoughts, below, too. I am really interested in what fans of this ship in particular feel about Deathly Hallows.

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11 thoughts on “Poll – Thoughts on Deathly Hallows

  1. I was twelve years old when Deathly Hallows came out. I’m twenty two now, and my feelings toward it – and the whole series – have changed drastically over the course of those ten years. I wasn’t involved in the fandom at all when I was twelve (I was blown away by a friend of mine correctly predicting the locket horcrux being the one in Grimmauld Place), and didn’t even become interested in it until I was nineteen.

    I’m actually more than a little disappointed that I never got to experience the waiting, and the theories, and being able to look at Snape from an adult’s perspective between books. When I read the books for the first time everything was black and white. After HBP Snape was evil, and after DH he was good, and it didn’t need to be more complicated than that. I even had no problems at all with the epilogue.

    I therefore find this poll difficult to answer. When I first read DH, it was my favorite of all the whole series, and I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming. Now, I look at it and I see Hermione (and Ron) reduced to 2D versions of themselves, and a Deus Ex Machina ending. And yet I still love it as much as the rest of the series.

    It sometimes feels like the SSHG fandom is mostly comprised of people who are 10-20 years (or more) older than me, and who had a completely different experience reading the books than I did because of that. I’d love to hear more from people who read the books as children, like me, and what your experience was like, as well as people who read them as adults and were more able to analyze all the myriad (and far more interesting) areas of grey than I was.

  2. I was fortunate enough to be 12 when the first book came out and a recent college graduate when the final book came out. I really did grow up and age as the characters did, which was very special. (Though I did not begin reading the books until I was 15.)

    I hadn’t considered those of you who were never able to theorize and fangirl between books. While it must have been a very special experience to read them all for the first time back to back, it was also awesome to be part of the theories and excitement between books.

    It’s not fair of me to complain about those who ‘didn’t always believe in him’ when you never had that chance between books to decide what you felt. 🙂

    I think one of the highlights of the entire fandom for me is the moment I read that Snape killed Dumbledore. I had already read years and years of Snape fanfics at this point, bought a coat that looked like his that I wore everywhere, made my Boggart Snape costume, and had fallen in love with Alan Rickman. I was completely obsessed with him. And then he killed Dumbledore. A character I had been obsessed with for years and was convinced was a good guy turning out to be bad? It blew my mind. My brain-gore was splattered all over my bedroom. I threw the book across the room. I yelped. I paced. I cried. I just couldn’t believe it. It was an extraordinary moment.

    I made a couple of my Livejournal entries public so I could share with you some of what i was feeling and thinking in 2006. I had been reading SSHG for a long time already, but it didn’t become all-consuming until after Half-Blood Prince. I HAD to prove his innocence!
    https://tavariel.livejournal.com/52141.html
    https://tavariel.livejournal.com/52439.html

    Oh, here’s a fandom story for you. I also met Alan Rickman in 2006 and he signed a drawing of Snape that my friend had made for me. It was at a charity screening of Snowcake, and most of the people there were older adults from the independent film scene. He raised his eyebrow imperiously at me for daring to show up with a fan drawing of Snape. To this day, I wonder if that was his natural reaction or if he knew that a raised eyebrow of distaste was the best possible gift he could give to me. Sometimes I wish I had babbled my Snape-Lily theory to him to gauge his reaction, but I’m sure he would not have given me any hints. You’ll be glad to hear that I chose to talk about Snowcake and be polite rather than babbling about a character he played towards the end of his career. Because I held my tongue, I can look back on the exchange positively rather than with embarrassment. Well, mostly. I had so much pent up excitement and repressed words from the exchange that I nearly ran to the theater doors to get outside and let it out. “I JUST MET ALAN RICKMAN!!!!” I yelled as I ran toward the Tube station on mostly-deserted streets. “HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SNAPE!!!!111!!”

    The other really special experience that I recall is the day after Deathly Hallows came out. We actually bought three copies; one for me, one for my dad, and one for my brother because we couldn’t bear to wait for the others to read it. I had stayed up all night reading the book. I had to go to work the next day, as a waitress. All over the restaurant, at almost all of my tables, someone had the book. Some tables had multiple books. Everyone was happy to excitedly talk about the book with each other and with me. “How far have your read? Can you believe ____? Dobby, I know!! Have you gotten to the part about Snape?” It was like we were all witches and wizards wearing badges so we could see each other, out in the Muggle world, for one day. Real-life was a Harry Potter convention. It was so special.

    This has been over long as usual but I wanted to share with you some of what it was like, at least in my experience <3333

  3. I read the books rather young. I was about 14 or so when the last book came out with a bone to pick with any and all figures of authority, so Severus Snape was one of my least favourite characters. However, as I grow older, I find myself growing more and more partial to him.

    Not because of the whole Lily angle but because he’s perhaps one of the most human and well-explored characters in the HP series.

    • I think he has more of a problem with ‘authority’ than anyone, given his long line of ‘masters’ from his dad to Voldemort to Dumbledore. I can see why you grew to appreciate him. ❤ Thank you for your thoughts!

  4. I….was quite disappointed in DH, to be honest. I wanted to love it, and there were bits that I did love, but when you compare it to, for example, HBP, it…doesn’t really measure up for me.

    It remains the only Harry Potter book I’ve read only once, and I’m not entirely sure that I’ll ever read it again, because…well, a lot of it is just badly thought out, isn’t it? I mean, in the other HP books, the things that happen are quite logical, for a given value of logical. But DH is just sort of one thing happening after another, and any general who makes the kind of plans Dumbledore made should be taken out the back and shot before he gets any more of his people killed.

    Or, you know, I could just hate it because it’s the book where JKR killed my favourite character.

    (also this may or may not be a coincidence, but I’ve just realised that I didn’t read ANY HP fic between when Deathly Hallows came out and the beginning of this year.)

  5. I was 16 when I read DH for the first time (the year it came out, 2007) and I loved it as much as I did the other books at the time. But since then I’ve read fanfic that are better then the book (which is why I’m always annoyed when people compere the epilogue with fanfic).

    I’m at the moment finishing a reread of the books (there are about 7 chapters left of DH). Rereading the books now is a different experience and I’m definitly more critical now. But I still don’t dislike DH as the fandom does (although the Epilogue is… disappointing). In my opinion, the problem with Dh is that it’s very confusing in some parts. While rereading the series, I’m following a reread that reviews the books chapter by chapter (http://www.tor.com/series/the-harry-potter-reread/) and the discussions in this posts has shown me that there are a lot of ways of interpretting the ending and how Harry . And not in a good pluralistc way or something like that. In a bad the-ending-is-muddled-way. I think this is my biggest problem with DH.

    When I read DH I already shipped HGSS and was involved in the fandom, although I was more invested in reading fanfic than debating canon (except when HBP came out and the war on Snape’s true loyalties among the fandom began). I wasn’t expecting anything from the book as a HGSS shipper. We all knew Hermione would end up with Ron (I didn’t think it would be so clumsy as it was in the books, but still) and it didn’t seem to be possible for Hermione and Snape to have any kind of connection on the books.

    I always liked Snape. But I feel compelled to say that I did watch the PS movie before reading the books (I didn’t even knew the books existed before watching the movie). When I watched PS I was already in love with Alan Rickman (Hans Gruber got me), so that probably affected my love for the carachter. I liked him for the same reasons you mentioned. I was indeed shocked by Dumbledore’s death, but I was certain that Snape did it in his role as a double agent. I still remember always telling people that there was a difference between being good and being nice.

    PS: I haven’t read the Lioness Prophecies, but Pet Project also has a mother’s magic lulluby as a way of defeating Lord Thingy.

    PSS: YOU MET ALAN RICKMAN!!!! I commend you on your hability to not babble. I probably would have. Also, non-related, but I love Snowcake so much.

  6. My feelings about DH are mixed. I really enjoyed it at the time I was reading it, but looking back on it critically, that’s when the cracks started showing. DH came out when I was either 16 or 17, so I got the experience of growing up with the characters, and got into fanfic later that year. Initially, I was just looking for well written fics, regardless of pairings, until I stumbled on the (sadly abandoned) “Looking for Magic” by Hypnobarb and SSHG just clicked and made so much sense to me that that quickly became my pairing of choice. That said, in devouring every fic I’ve been able to get my hands on, my favorite era in ficdom is the one between HBP and DH when we knew he did it but didn’t know why. Some amazing theories and no stupid Hallows came out of that era.

    Also screw the epilogue. Although some (partially of course, since he lives) DH compliant fics I’ve read have Snape making some wonderfully snarky comments about his name being mixed in with “Albus” and “Potter.”

  7. Hey! Miss you ’round these parts!

    I was wondering if you’ve had the chance to watch The Last Jedi and what you thought of Kylo Ren in the movie

    • I think he’s great! I see him as similar to a ‘Seventh Year Snape’ who might become Adult Snape once he learns self-control, discipline, and regret, but for now he’s a petulant emotional disaster (which let’s face it, Snape was for a long time – that’s why I don’t like Young Snape fics very much.) I hope we see a ton of growth in him in the last movie; then I can fully adore him. ❤

      • I totally expected it, so I guess I don’t make much of it? It seemed obvious to me after reading this (which was published in January 2016, waaaay before Last Jedi’s release.) https://ohtze.tumblr.com/post/137735730948/death-and-the-maiden

        I find Kylo extremely attractive but I just can’t with emotionally stunted, impulsive, ego-centric men (or women) anymore. I think that’s why this pairing does nothing for me (even though again, I’m extremely attracted to Kylo but it’s like…yeah that’s a bad idea.) I’ll take my disciplined, measured, learned-all-his-lessons-already Snape any day over Kylo. I love Rey, though.

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